Conflict in Syria Now
Threatens World Peace (Trouw, The
intervention outside the U.N., like America’s in Iraq, would expand the civil
war into an international conflict - with devastating consequences. … The U.S.
and Russia will have to come together instead of criticizing each other and
working at cross-purposes. And they will have to involve other countries,
including those they fear would become too powerful in the process.”
Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria has had very little impact.
Both the regime and the insurgents have violated agreements. The violence is
becoming ever more atrocious. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
has said that a civil war is imminent, but the truth is that it is already underway.
Some years ago, a U.N. resolution was passed about the
obligation of governments to protect their own populations. That resolution
also concerns itself with the responsibility of the international community when
a regime doesn’t fulfill this obligation. In diplomatic parlance, this shared
responsibility is known as R2P: the responsibility to
protect. The enforcement thereof would suggest that peacekeepers be
But anyone who thinks that a foreign military intervention
in Syria may offer a solution is mistaken. Syria is too big, the army too
strong and the rebels and militias too numerous. An intervention would increase
the violence, as intervention troops would themselves become party to the
conflict. Besides, there will no U.N. intervention: Russia and China will
exercise their veto in the Security Council.
There is no chance that U.N.
peacekeepers can protect people in Syria without the consent of the regime in
Damascus, particularly since the West unilaterally interpreted the U.N.
resolution on Libya as a mandate for regime change. A military intervention outside the U.N., like America’s in Iraq,
would expand the civil war into an international conflict - with devastating
If we posit that a U.N. military intervention is impossible,
we should strive for a provisional truce between the parties in Syria, under which
would agree to allow the U.N. to monitor compliance with the agreement, and
where necessary, enforce it. This will require heavy pressure from a united
international community on all parties in Syria.
To use a contemporary term, countries will have to spring
over their own shadows. In the Netherlands, this means that the interests of
one party must be set aside for the greater good, which will ultimately be in the
interests of all. This also applies to the Syrian conflict.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
The U.S. and Russia will have to come together instead of criticizing
each other and working at cross-purposes. And they will have to involve other
countries, including those they fear would become too powerful in the process.
Every country in the region has different interests:
Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf
States. Those interests are partly ethnic and religious, partly economic and partly
geopolitical. The result is that the Syria conflict is being nourished by
interference and a supply of weapons from abroad. All those countries will have
to be convinced by America, Russia and China, to put aside their short-term
interests in favor of a common strategy.
That is in everyone’s interest, because if the conflict in
Syria rages on, the Middle East as a whole will be threatened with destabilization,
with potential consequences for world peace. That is what is now at stake, especially
with America, Russia and China confronting one another in other parts of the
world as well.
This plea for political negotiation is different from what
is currently occurring. Even Kofi Annan’s attempt at official mediation has no
chance of succeeding, if it isn’t backed by power. That has so far been lacking.
The goal of peace talks is not to enforce peace from the outside,
but to usher in a period of cease fire, protect civilians and create provisional
stability, during which the warring parties can negotiate a peace settlement. Not
only will the international community have to invite them, it will have to encourage
them if not force them to do so.
This is only possible when the international community takes
no side in the conflict. The only side the peace mediators may - and should - take,
is that of the victims.
In this light, one-sided statements about regime change are
premature. Regime change must be part of a domestic peace compromise. If Assad
leaves, it must be ensured that the regime will not just continue. Army,
police, secret services, police forces and militias must be brought under
civilian control, or dismantled. Regime change should not result in even more
chaos, revenge and violence.
Strong pressure will have to be exerted on all parties,
including on the rebels: first R2P and then a peace agreement. Outside pressure
will have to be boosted by putting a stop to weapon supplies (to all parties), and
by threatening to carry out and maintain naval blockades, no-flight zones,
buffer zones and safe havens for civilians if stipulated conditions are not
The ridiculously small number of U.N. observers, now numbering
three hundred, will have to be increased at least tenfold, so that it will be
possible to record not only what happens, but who is responsible. Moreover,
only a large-scale presence can help prevent outbursts of violence and
The situation in Syria is more complicated than those in
Egypt and Libya. Preventing an escalation there demands that this complexity
not be worsened from the outside.
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